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The Museum of Anthropology And Development

Manav Vikas Sangrahalaya (The Museum of Development of Man)

The Manav Vikas Sangrahalaya came into being in January 2001. This museum aims at preserving and highlighting the folk cultures, local traditions and heritage of our country. In this respect it is different from other archaeological museums as it portrays the living, vibrant and dynamic aspects of Indian folk and cultural traditions which have played a role in the socio-economic development of the country, particularly UP and its neighboring regions. Besides preserving and providing sustenance to cultural attributes of the society such as tribal and folk arts, literature, sports, local skills etc., it also aims to preserve and document indigenous knowledge systems in various areas and also tools, technologies and modes of production.

Display Section :

The display section of the Museum is an integral and complementary part of the research wing. The artifacts displayed focus on art and culture of different communities of our nation. Dioramas, replicas and other visuals show how people of various regions have passed through different phases of culture and change. At present there are two galleries in the museum. The first is the Manav Vikas ki Katha and the second one is the Ganga River Culture gallery. The gallery displaying Manav Vikas ki Katha highlights the march of civilization since prehistoric times. It presents a coherent history of the development, particularly, socio-economic, of human civilization in the specific context of north India. The other gallery, namely the Ganga River Culture gallery represents the socioeconomic and cultural continuity and change along the entire Ganga River belt through large paintings, photographs, artifacts and models.

Outreach Activities :

Apart from its display unit the museum is also involved in carrying out academic research, popular activities and interventions activities that aim to reach out to lesser-known marginalized communities. In the process also disseminates knowledge among the general public about these communities. Since its inception in 2001 the museum has been organizing various workshops and training programmes for children during the summer vacations under the banners of Art for Social Change and Theatre for Social Change. Every year a programme called Chetna Parva (a social knowledge awareness programme) is conducted for school children in which children belonging to different schools of the city visit the museum and are given a popular lecture by eminent social scientists on important social issues. Training programmes are also organized for women in which they are taught indigenous skills that can help to empower them economically and socially.
As a part of the intervention activities among marginalized communities the museum has been carrying out various programmes to enhance the cultural identity of marginalized communities through their cultural skills, traditions and performances. Under its programme on Identity and Development workshops like Zindagi Nadi Kinare (with the Nishads) and Hunar (with the various lower caste communities of Shahabpur), were organized in the last few years. Other intervention programmes included sensitizing rural communities about the problem of water scarcity through their own cultural resources. A cultural station is in the process of being established in Shahabpur, which is aimed at using culture as a tool for development of the communities living in the village.

Research and Documentation
Manav Vikas Sangrahalaya being a part of the Centre of Culture and Change is also carrying out research projects. One project that is underway is 'Myth, Memory and Politics: A study of the language of mobilization of grassroot dalits' funded by ICSSR. Another project the museum is involved in is entitled 'Bidesia: Migration, Change and Diasporic Culture' -an international project based in three countries namely Holland, Surinam and India, funded by Netherland Cultural Fund, Prince Claus Fund and Monderian, Amsterdam. Yet another is the Modernization and Extension of Galleries, funded by Ministry of Culture, Government of India. A new gallery on the story of Bhojpuri migrants under the colonial period is also in the process of being developed. This gallery is being supported by KIT, Amsterdam and Netherland Cultural Fund.

The museum has institutional collaboration with various institutions working in the field of culture like IGRMS, Bhopal; NCZCC, Allahabad; Anand Bhawan, Allahabad; Department of Culture, UP Government and Government of India, and KIT Tropen Museum, Amsterdam.

G.B. Pant Social Science Institute, Jhusi, Prayagraj-211019, Uttar Pradesh, INDIA

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